The position of District Collector was created by Warren Hastings in 1772. The main functions of the district collector were to supervise general administration, to collect land revenue and to maintain law and order in the district. He was the head of the revenue organization. He was responsible for registration, alteration, and partition of holdings; the settlement of disputes; the management of indebted estates; loans to agriculturists, and famine relief.
All the other officials in the district were subordinate to him and were responsible to inform him of every activity in their respective departments.
He was also vested with the functions of the District Magistrate. As a District Magistrate, he supervised the police and inferior courts in the district. Along with these, he also performed judicial functions.
After the independence of the country, the judicial powers of the collector were transferred to the judicial officers of the district. With the launch of Community Development Programme, the collector was also entrusted with the additional work of implementing the government’s development programmes in the district.
The functions and responsibilities of the District Magistrate Collector may be broadly classified as follows:
- District Magistrate
- Deputy Commissioner
- Chief Protocol Officer
- Chief Development Officer
- Returning Officer
Duties and responsibilities of a collector are as follows:
- Land assessment
- Land acquisition
- Collection of land revenue, maintenance of land records, land reforms, consolidation of holdings etc
- Collection of income tax dues, excise duties, irrigation dues etc.
- Distribution of agricultural loans
- Disaster management during natural calamities such as floods, famines or epidemics
- Crisis management during riots or external aggression
- Chairman of the District Bankers Coordination Committee
- Head of the District Industries Centre
Following are the duties and responsibilities of a District Magistrate:
- Maintenance of law and order
- Supervision of the police and jails
- Supervision of subordinate Executive magistracy
- Hearing cases under the preventive section of the Criminal Procedure Code
- Supervision of jails and certification of execution of capital sentences
- To submit the annual criminal report to the government
The duties and responsibilities of a Deputy Commissioner are as follows:
- Report to divisional commissioner on all matters
- Act as ex-officio chairman of the District Development Authority in absence of divisional commissioner
Following are the duties and responsibilities of a Chief Protocol Officer:
- Conducts the census work
- Look after the supply and proper distribution of daily necessity good
- Hears and takes adequate steps to redress the grievances of the local people
- Supervises the activities of the young government officers in the district and arrange for their training etc.
The duties and responsibilities of a Chief Development Officer are as follows:
- conduct all the development plans and projects of the district
- Put into effect the policy of democratic decentralization
- Act as the chief liaison officer of the state government within the district
Following are the duties and responsibilities of a Returning Officer:
- Conduct all the election works in the district
- Supervise and coordinate election in the district
What is the difference between a judge and a magistrate in India?
– A judge can be described as an arbitrator, i.e. the person who decides on a matter in the court. On the contrary, a magistrate is a regional judicial officer who is elected by the judges of the high court of the state to maintain law and order in a particular area or region.
– A magistrate makes decisions on small or minor matters. In fact, the Magistrate gives initial decisions in criminal cases. He is known to have powers more of an administrator. On the contrary, the judge makes decisions in serious and complex cases, in which knowledge of the law and the ability to make personal decision is very essential.
– Magistrate has limited jurisdiction over a judge.
– Judicial Magistrate and Chief Judicial Magistrate are appointed by the High Court while the Governor appoints the District Magistrate. On the contrary, the President appoints the judge of the Supreme Court while the High Court judges are appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the State.
– Contrary to a judge, a magistrate only has limited law enforcement and administrative powers.
– The judge is always an official with a law degree. But the magistrate does not require a law degree in every country. That is, the magistrate may or may not have a legal degree, but it is mandatory for the appointment of a judge to be a legal degree, as well as practicing advocacy in a court.
– Magistrate has the power to impose fines and imprisonment for a specific period. But judges have the right to pass sentence of death or life imprisonment.
Now you may have understood that the judge can decide on a certain matter in the court. That is, the verdict by the Supreme Court Judge is final and no appeal can be made for this. On the other hand, the magistrate is like an administrator who takes care of the law and order in the special area.